Ovid Transformed : The Dynamics of Sexual Positioning in Titian's Poesie
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During the mid sixteenth century Titian completed six canvases for Philip II which represent themes from Ovid’s Metamorphoses. Commonly referred to as the poesie, the series is heralded as a tour de force for its portrayal of female nudes. Each of the paintings illustrates an Ovidian myth pertaining to affairs of the Gods. Titian selected classical legends with overtly sexual overtones that would stimulate more than just the King’s intellect. Titian modified Ovid’s narrative so they were more enticing to the contemporary mind. This essay strives to prove that Titian’s deviations reflect the Renaissance perspective on relationships between the sexes, specifically the eroticism of the dominant male over the passive female.